Nigeria Aliko Dangote tops Africa’s billionaires list

Aliko Dangote, President and CEO of Nigeria's Dangote Group

NAIROBI, KENYA: Nigerian industrialist Aliko Dangote can finance Kenya’s 47 counties if he liquidated his assets and still be left with over Sh600b for tea.

The counties want Sh302b but Treasury CS Henry Rotich says the government can only manage Sh248b.

Forbes 2018 list of billionaires ranks Dangote as Africa’s richest man with a networth of $14.1billion (Sh1.4 trillion).The cement giant has expressed interest in exploiting  in Kitui’s limestone and gypsum deposits, which would change the local building materials subsector significantly.

 Dangote once famously claimed he could employ American TV mogul Oprah Winfrey.  

According to Forbes, Dangote ranks number 100 globally with the source of his wealth being cement, salt, sugar and flour manufacturing.

He founded and chairs Dangote Cement, Africa’s largest cement manufacturer. He also owns sugar, salt and four milling businesses that are all listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

In this year’s survey, Forbes found a record 2,208 billionaires, collectively worth $9.1 trillion.

Among them are 259 newcomers who made their fortunes in everything from wedding dresses to children’s toys and electric cars.

Besides Nigeria, South Africa, Egypt and Algeria made it to this year’s list with none of the East African states (Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania) making it to the billionaires list.

Last year Tanzania’s Mohammed Dewji was featured with his net worth estimated at $1.4b (over Sh100b).

This year’s African billionaires have invested in in luxury goods, diamonds, cement, sugar, flour, media and food.

Nicky Oppenheimer from South Africa is ranked 202 with a networth of $7.7 billion (Over Sh700b) in diamonds.

The only woman featuring in the list which captured 2,208 billionaires is the 44 year-old Isabel dos Santos from Angola at $2.6 B (overSh200b).

Overall Americans lead the way with a record 585 billionaires, followed by mainland China with 373. Centi-billionaire Jeff Bezos secures the list’s top spot for the first time, becoming the only person to appear in the Forbes ranks with a 12-figure fortune.  That is in US dollars.

Bezos’s fortune leapt more than $39 billion, the list’s biggest one-year gain ever.

He moves ahead of Bill Gates, who is now number 2.

It is the biggest gap between no. 1 and 2 since 2001.

Bernard Arnault, with a fortune of $72 billion, reclaims the title of richest European for the first time since 2012. There are 259 newcomers including the first ever cryptocurrency billionaires; two Canadians whose toy company is behind Hatchimals and PAW Patrol; two Americans who founded online retailer Wayfair; and a 35-year-old heiress who runs In-N-Out Burger. Even in such a strong year, 121 dropped out due to falling fortunes or political headwinds, including all 10 Saudi Arabians.